Monitor |



BIRTHS Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, 36, and cop hubby Kevin Grandalski, 36, welcomed their third child, Tyler Daniel Grandalski, on July 18…. Today weatherman Al Roker, 47, and his ABC reporter wife, Deborah Roberts, 40, greeted their second child, 8-pound Nicholas Albert, July 18. He also has a teen daughter from a previous marriage.

SPLITS Marriage, interrupted: On July 17, Angelina Jolie, 27, filed for divorce from Billy Bob Thornton, 47, her hubby of two years, citing ”irreconcilable differences.” Jolie seeks sole custody of their 11-month-old adopted son, Maddox. It’s Jolie’s second marriage, Thornton’s fifth.

AILING Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser, 40, announced July 16 he has a terminal form of cancer and will stay home in Athens, Ga., during Panic’s summer tour. A rep declined to elaborate…. After surgery to remove part of her colon July 3, Sharon Osbourne, 49, learned the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. She’s set to begin three months of chemotherapy July 29, says a spokeswoman…. On July 22, Hardball player Chris Matthews, 56, was diagnosed with malaria – though docs don’t know how he contracted it. He was hospitalized in Washington, D.C., at press time.

DEALS On July 21, Warner Bros. said Y Tu Mama Tambien director Alfonso Cuaron, 40, will helm Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the series’ third installment. Chris Columbus, 43, who directed the first two films (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets bows in November), will produce Prisoner, set for 2004.

ARRESTS Rapper Mystikal (ne Michael Tyler), 31, was arrested July 18 on rape and extortion charges in Baton Rouge, La. He was released on $250,000 bail. Authorities allege Mystikal and two pals raped a 40-year-old acquaintance after threatening to tell cops she cashed allegedly fraudulent checks. Police say they discovered an incriminating video of the crime. In a statement, Mystikal’s lawyer pledged the rapper would be ”exonerated.”

COURTS On July 19, a Riverside, Calif., judge dropped drug charges against Robert Downey Jr., 37. He was arrested in 2000 when cops found cocaine in his Palm Springs, Calif., hotel room.

DEATHS Rabbi-turned-author Chaim Potok (1967’s The Chosen), 73, of cancer, July 23, in Merion, Pa…. British TV star Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey), 82, of undisclosed causes, July 23, in Bath, England…. Music producer Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s ”Rocket Man”), 59, in a car crash, July 21, near Reading, England…. Folk musicologist Alan Lomax, 87, of a heart attack, July 19, in Safety Harbor, Fla. (See Legacy on page 73.)… Lawyer/novelist Barry C. Reed, 75, whose The Verdict inspired 1982’s Paul Newman film, of undisclosed causes, July 19, in Norwood, Mass…. True-crime author Jack Olsen (Salt of the Earth), 77, of a heart attack, July 16, on Bainbridge Island, Wash…. Bluesman Rosco Gordon, 74, whose hit ”Just a Little Bit” was covered by Elvis Presley, of a heart attack, July 11, in Queens. – Nancy Miller and Karen Valby